The Christian faith is fraught with many questions and arguments relating to doctrine, one of which is the seeming conflict between the Old Testament and New Testament, especially pertaining to the character of God. Many think the God of the Old Testament is angry and fearful while the God of the New Testament is loving and merciful, which begs the question, “So did God change?”

In an attempt to resolve this argument, there is a school of believers that posit that some authors of the Old Testament did not have a complete revelation of God, thus they sometimes failed to present a correct image of God, filling in the blanks with their own ideas. The teaching is often characterized by negating Old Testament passages that attribute inflicting death, plagues or some adverse circumstance to God.

This teaching, though well-intentioned, finds no support in Scripture and is flawed for reasons I will outline below.

The Old Testament Is Inspired Too

The major flaw of this line of thought is that it forgets that the Holy Spirit is ultimately the author of the Bible, and thus negates and assaults the doctrine of inspiration and inerrancy of the Word of God. This doctrine teaches that the Bible was totally inspired by God through the Holy Spirit working in human beings, and is consequently inerrant, that is, true and trustworthy. This doctrine finds support in two main passages:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:16

“for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” – 2 Peter 1:21

“All Scripture”, that is the Old Testament and the New Testament, (and in fact, when that letter was written, the Old Testament was the only part of Scripture in existence), was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Every word that was written was intended to be there by the Holy Spirit who superintended the process. If Scripture expressly records that “the Lord killed him”, as in the story of Er & Onan, or God shut someone’s womb, as in the story of Hannah, then we must take these words as inspired by the Holy Spirit. Consequently, to argue that the author was wrong to say that God shut Hannah’s womb or killed Uzzah for touching the ark, as God could not truly have been responsible for those acts, is to cast doubt on the divine authority and veracity of God’s Word. The implication is that the process of writing Scripture was tainted by man’s inclinations and limitations, thus exposing Scripture to errancy. If Scripture is truly inspired by the Holy Spirit who is perfect, shouldn’t the Holy Spirit be able to ensure that the authors only recorded what was true, free of error and portrayed the correct image of God? Undoubtedly, the human aspect of the writing of the Bible means that the styles, personality and cultural influences of each author seeped into the text (and same is true for the New Testament); however, I believe God, in His Sovereignty, did not allow this taint the truthfulness and reliability of His Inspired Word. Moreover, this school of thought opens the door for all kinds of subjective interpretations as one is forced to wonder what parts of the Old Testament correctly portray God and what parts do not, ultimately leading to cherry-picking.

A common rebuttal is that the people of the Old Testament did not truly know or understand God, neither did they have the full picture of Him, as the image of God is fully revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ, hence Old Testament authors inadvertently portrayed a distorted image of God. This is not altogether correct. Here, it is important to distinguish between the sacred writers of the Old Testament and the people of Israel. The people of Israel were constantly rebellious and unfaithful, and did not know or understand God’s character. Right from when God delivered them from Egypt, and led them into the Promised Land, till the lifetime of Jesus, they were a stiff-necked people whose eyes were blind and hearts were hard. For example, in Numbers 14:3, the children of Israel murmured against God saying, “Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?”, depicting a lack of knowledge of God’s faithfulness and goodness. Similarly, God, through the prophet Jeremiah, said concerning them, “For my people are foolish, they have not known Me….” (Jeremiah 4:22). Jesus himself gave the same report about the Jews saying, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29)

However, among these people, God revealed himself to some select few, upon whom was His Spirit. These were priests, judges, kings, prophets – people who had faith in God and were commended for it as shown in Hebrews 11:39, some of whom are the inspired writers of Old Testament books. Through his prophets, He issued messages to the rebellious and disobedient people of Israel that they may know Him, however they did not heed their words. So, although the children of Israel did not know God, did not obey Him nor listen to His messages issued through His prophets, the inspired authors were people of faith who knew God, to the extent that He spoke to them and revealed Himself and His will to them.  Of Moses, God Himself said, “I speak to Him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and He sees the form of the Lord.” (Numbers 12:8; see also Exodus 33:11; Deut. 34:10). In fact, the psalmist says, “He made known His ways to Moses, his acts to the children of Israel” (Psalm 103:7); the Israelites merely saw God’s powerful miracles, but to Moses, He revealed His character. Isaiah had such a powerful vision of the Lord that he became aware of his sinfulness (Isaiah 6:1-5). Ezekiel had several visions of God that could barely be put into words. And although, David did not traditionally appear to be a prophet, the New Testament affirms in several passages that many of his psalms were prophetic.

How then could these saints of old go beyond the revelations of God shown to them and include their own notions about God, bearing in mind that their prophecies were often given in first-person as God Himself speaking? No, the Bible does not say so, Jesus did not say so, the apostles never taught so, and it is presumptuous to say so. In essence, although the OT revelations are fragmentary, the Old Testament authors portrayed God as He revealed Himself to them, within the confines of human language, exactly as inspired by the Spirit, and these portrayals are true and do not contradict the image of God that Christ presents – because Christ is present, though veiled, in the Old Testament.

It is unarguable that, in Christ, God reveals Himself in his fulness. The Apostle John writes, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth…. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (John 1:14, 18) The writer of Hebrews also says: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…” (Hebrews 1:1-2). To borrow the words of Jamieson Fausset Brown, In Christ, the revelation of God is full, not in shifting hues of separated color, but Himself the pure light, uniting in His one person the whole spectrum.”

Thus, one of the things Christ did here on earth was manifest the character of God to mankind. A.W Tozer puts it this way: “Christ walked with men on earth that He might show them what God is like and make known the true nature of God to a race that had wrong ideas about Him.” Did these wrong ideas emanate from Old Testament teachings about God’s character? No, because the inspired Word produces no wrong ideas about God. The wrong ideas the people of Israel (and humanity) had about the character of God was because of their lack of knowledge and understanding about God, ultimately traceable to the sin-nature that is alienated from God. Heb. 1:1-2 evidently tells us that God spoke through the prophets first, the same prophets that the people of Israel did not listen to, same prophets they murdered (Luke 11:47-49). The purpose of Jesus’s coming was to embody and fulfill the prophecies, not to negate them.

If we deeply study the teachings and life of Jesus, we will find that He never invalidated what was written in the Old Testament about God’s character nor did He depict a different character from what was written about God in the OT; what He did was reveal that character and establish God’s perfect standards of righteousness and holiness, revealing the inadequacy and imperfection of the permissive and provisional Law given by Moses under the old covenant, in making a man pleasing to God.  

Who Defines Good and Evil?

Another flaw in this teaching is its subjection of the Uncreated God to human and simplistic notions of good and evil. In its human understanding, it says, “killing is evil; God is good and does no evil; therefore, God did not kill”, failing to understand that what constitutes evil is not just the act, but the intent, the disposition behind the act, and that God transcends our own fallible views of what is good and evil. Aren’t there unbelievers who think, “How could God give up His Son to die? That’s evil.” Yet as believers we understand that God gave us His son and Jesus offered up Himself because He loved us (John 3:16, Romans 5:8) This shows us that what humans consider to be evil and what God considers to be evil are not the same. Yet, God remains the epitome of all moral excellence.

 Rather than refuse to confront seemingly uncomfortable and unsettling portrayals of God in the Old Testament by presuming the writer was mistaken, we must take the written Word as it is and ask ourselves, “The Bible records that God did this and this, why did He act that way and what does this tell me about the nature of God?”

In every passage where it is recorded that God killed persons or sent a plague or delivered the Israelites into the hands of their enemies, it was preceded by a narration of the people’s iniquity and sinfulness. We see statements saying their acts “displeased the Lord” (See Gen. 38:10, Numbers 11:1, 1 Chron. 21:7) or was “evil in His sight” (Gen. 6:5, Num. 32:13, Judges 2:11).  And so, we see God’s righteous judgment against sin/evil, and not an evil or malicious God going on a killing spree out of hatred for man or for morbid pleasure. We see an absolutely holy, just and perfect God who detests sin and must deal with sin decisively, because sin corrupts, pollutes and degrades His creation. God’s wrath stems from His holiness and His desire to preserve the spiritual wellbeing of His creation. This was why none of the people who rebelled against God in the wilderness made it to the Promised Land; only their children “who had no knowledge of good and evil” did (See Num. 32:13, Deut. 1:35-39). It was to preserve the moral health of His chosen ones in the “good land” they were about to possess. God’s holiness and righteous judgment, therefore, does not negate His goodness and love. The wrath of God does not reflect poorly on His loving nature. Is he truly a good and loving God if he allows sin and its evil consequences persist?

A correct understanding of these Old Testament passages actually enables us new creatures in Christ appreciate the redemptive and saving work of Jesus.  It is that very wrath we see in the OT that Jesus saved us from. Just like the people of Israel, we had the sinful nature and were ‘children of wrath’ (Eph. 2:3) By the sacrifice of Jesus, the Lord laid on Him all our sins and the wrath of God was satisfied (Isaiah 53), ushering us into the dispensation of grace where forgiveness is available for all. And for everyone who believes in the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have right standing with God and are saved from the wrath of God stored up on the Day of his righteous judgment upon the children of disobedience (Rom 2:5, Eph. 5:6). This is the true basis for our unshaking assertion that God will not kill or inflict calamity on anyone because their sins have been paid for by Jesus Christ; God has poured out mercy and grace upon humanity through Jesus Christ, and is patiently calling on mankind to be reconciled to Him (2 Corinthians 5:19).  These passages also give us an in-depth understanding of how much God hates sin, that we may walk in a manner pleasing to him. This was the emphasis of Paul in 1 Corinthians 10 – “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” After an exposition of the presence of Christ in the Old Testament, Paul cited examples of the Israelites’ sin from Exodus & Numbers, affirming the authority of Old Testament Scripture; if the writer was incorrect to attribute the punishment the Israelites suffered for their sin to God, the Holy Spirit would have moved Paul to say so. But he says, “But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness”, confirming that they were judged by God for their sin.

Apart from God’s holiness, the Old Testament also establishes God’s sovereignty. God is the Source of all life and can determine when life begins and ends (See Psalm 90:3) So, when you say Hannah was wrong when she prayed, “The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up” (1 Sam. 2:6), you focus on a myopic view of God’s goodness and lose sight of a precious truth: God is sovereign and all-powerful. God Himself had said earlier through Moses, “Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.” (Deut. 32:39). Jesus teaches this same truth about the Father: “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:5)

It is important to note that the aforementioned passages refer to physical life. People have defended this teaching with John 10:10 saying, “It is the Devil that kills, steals and destroys; Jesus only gives life.” And to that, I pose this question: “when God told Adam and Eve that they would die if they eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, did they die physically?” They suffered spiritual death, and Jesus died and was raised to life that we may enjoy spiritual/eternal life; this is what He meant when He said “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” And for everyone who believes in the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are quickened and made spiritually alive with Christ (Eph. 2:5). John 10:10 must first be understood in the spiritual sense: Satan seeks the separation of man from God so he brought about spiritual death, he stole man’s authority and power, but Jesus has destroyed his works. Undoubtedly, Satan, being the evil being he is, also wreaks havoc by causing physical death and all kinds of calamity, but God is ultimately in control of all life. That was why God could expressly command Satan not to take Job’s life (Job 1:12)

Conclusion: There Is No Conflict

So how do we reconcile the revelation of God in the Old and New Testament? Well, the error is in thinking that there is a conflict, that the Old Testament only portrays God as a God of anger and judgment, while it was first in the New Testament, through Jesus Christ, that we come to know God as a God of mercy and grace. Before time even began, God has been and will always be merciful and good. The Old Testament narrates many instances where God withheld his anger and showed forgiveness (Exodus 32:14, 2 Sam. 24:16, 1 Kings 21:29, Jonah 3:10), and contains symbols of God’s mercy that would later be fully fulfilled in Jesus Christ. For example, after exacting judgment on Adam and Eve for disobedience, God made garments for them and clothed them (Genesis 3:21); also, when venomous snakes bit the Israelites due to their rebellion, the Lord instructed Moses to make a bronze snake and hang it on a pole, so that whomever is bitten can look to it and live (Numbers 21:8-9).  Here are some OT verses that speak of God’s mercy and grace:

“And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin…”– Exodus 34:6-7

“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” – Psalm 86:15

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” – Psalm 103:8-10

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” – Micah 7:18-19

“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23

“So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.” – Joel 2:13

In Jesus Christ, we see all these Scriptures fulfilled. We see the actualization of God’s mercy, goodness and love towards humanity.

And here are New Testament verses that speak of God’s justice and judgment, apart from those earlier cited.

“Therefore, consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness…” – Romans 11:22

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” – 2 Corinthians 5:11

“For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews 10:30-31

It is evident that God is portrayed as kind, loving, gracious and merciful, alongside the portrayals of His holiness, righteousness and justice in both the Old and New Testament. He is revealed as truly in the Old Testament as He is in the New Testament; both unify to reveal God and His Son, Jesus Christ, in fullness.

We must be careful not to have a one-sided view of God that fits our own mold of what He should be. As believers, we study the Old Testament in light of the New Testament, and we do this without sitting in judgment over what has been written or objecting to what we erroneously and fearfully think paints God in a bad light. He does not need you to make him look good; He is good in Himself. The Bible reveals many attributes of God and they are not inconsistent with each other at all. As Tozer writes, “Between His attributes, no contradiction can exist. He need not suspend one to exercise another, for in Him all attributes are one.”

I implore us to take time to study all the Scriptures stated here, even as we maintain an open, humble and teachable spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us understand His Word and guide us into all truth. Amen.

*All A.W Tozer quotes are from his book “The Knowledge of the Holy”



Couldn't find a picture with  a black girl...does it matter?

Couldn’t find a picture with a black girl…does it matter?

Hello guys!

I apologise for my absence and unsatisfactory answers to your ‘where-have-you-been’s. Consistency isn’t my forte right now, and guess whose phone decided to stop functioning. I wrote this piece last year and I just realised I haven’t shared it, though I recited it at an open mic event. Who said throwbacks have to be posted only on Thursdays? Enjoy, and kindly drop your comments. 🙂




You pass your verdict
even before I plead my case,
Stormily spewing slander,
Like a volcano ejecting lava,
as you describe my features:
Lacklustre eyes,
brows the Creator carved in darkness,
a nose that struggles to breathe,
behemoth lips.
Your incandescent eyes bore into me with no sympathy,
glazing my eyes, inducing steam;
decreasing my grace with every glance you steal.
Crack. Shatter. Scatter.
That’s the sound of breaking self-esteem.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall.
You conceited, unfair judge of all.
You dissenter,
Disserving my head from the sky,
Bringing her down low to flirt with earth,
As tears from her eyes wet the ground.

Today, my tears flow a different course,
Unto your face this time.
I weep because you do not know you are blind.
How can you not see the beauty within me?
Come, let me save you from your misery.
Crack. Shatter. Scatter.
That’s the sound of breaking glass.


Who placed a crown upon your head
and adorned you with royal robes?
Is your blood thicker than the red in our veins?
Or is it different, is it of a purple shade?

Who put a gavel in your right hand,
the staff of justice in your left?
Are the laws of the land entrenched deeper in your psyche than in ours?
Is there a halo we cannot see, hovering around your holy head?

Hello there, Voice of the people.
Do you purloin words from our mouths and cram them into yours?
Or do you spew words from your mouth and label it ours?
Do you speak because you have a higher pitch?
Do you sing because you own a birdlike song?

Who bestowed upon you this authority?
God, you say?
Show us the certificate He wrote,
to defend your claim.
An angel delivered it to your doorstep, no?
Pray, tell us his name.

Our knees will kiss the floor in reverence,
as we spread our garments for your will to ride into our hearts,
only when you answer the question we ponder,
who made you ruler and judge over us?

Questions are, in my opinion, the most effective way to challenge people- their actions, thoughts and beliefs. This poem was written in the course of my meditation on a question Emmanuel Iduma posed to a group of people who were participating in a writing workshop, including me. We were discussing the politics of our writing and most of us stated that writers are the spokespersons, the voice of the people. He then said, “But who gave us the authority?”
I tried to form a conclusive answer, and I am still trying.
When we write on matters arising, offering our opinions, judgements and prescriptions (which is a good act in itself) we believe we are speaking on behalf of the general public, or an affected group of people, but where does the right to do that stem from? Is it just a part of our fundamental human rights? Does it emanate from a sense of God-given responsibility, self-imposed duty, or social obligation to the world we belong to? Or does it, like a friend of mine said, emanate from a sense of requital in appreciation to the heroes ahead of us who have helped us advocate for a cause?
Is the need to advocate for people simply innate?
I think these questions are necessary because it helps us understand ourselves and our world. It serves as a measure of the nobleness of our intentions in our use of words and actions.
When we can honestly identify the source of our authority, it will show forth in our words and work, empowering us to command the listening ears and approving hearts of people.
It enables your audience know why it is your voice that should be heeded amidst the other voices contending for attention.
Since I’ve already thrown a barrage of questions at you, I might as well end with one. What do you think about this ‘authority’ I (and Iduma) speak of?


Love and Lust

Hello everyone.
The post below, put in upper
case, did not originate from
me. The author is Ayanfeoluwa Lawal. Dr. Tope Oni, my dad, referred me to it and I was blessed by it, even though it’s brief.
Following his request (and willingly too) I decided to cull it from Facebook and post it on my blog; I pray you’ll be blessed in wisdom also.

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Hello everyone.
School’s been keeping me busy, that’s why I haven’t posted anything in a while. But no lectures till 1pm, so here I am! 😀
We have a guest writer on the blog today. The first time I read lines from this guy’s poem, I had a déjà vu, and for some weird reason, that made me want to read more from him. I sent him a mail asking him to write for my blog and his first reply was “I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong e-mail address.” Lol
He did send something though- a beautiful philosophical piece that expresses pure emotions without putting too much effort in the use of poetic technicalities.
Here’s @Muyinho with “Conquistador”. Enjoy
I sit still under the frosty grip
of another cold night, the
salty trickle on my face glistening under the moonlight, as time ticks on oblivious of my plight,

the heaviness in my heart sinking me, each second, deeper into distress,

till I’m lost in an abyss of uncertainty, stricken by the loss and the agony afresh,

engulfed by consummate darkness, and consumed by terror of soulless flesh.

The wind carries the first throaty wail of a child from the window behind, to my ears, reminding me of why I am here,

that sound of fresh life should be followed by the joy of a father and the sincere smile of its tired mother,
yet I’m in the rain on the balcony feeling nothing but pain,

inside a new widower holds his son, baby in his arm probably weighs a ton to him,

the love of his life for a kid he’s never met, not the choice he’d take if the decision was his to make,

a clap of thunder disturbs the sequence of my mind, and draws my thoughts back to me,

I’m afraid of living in this world of incessant crying, and yet too scared of dying,

What is the point of creation if eventually it must end, what is the creator’s motive and what exactly does he intend?

A flash in the cloud calls for my attention and I stare into the firmaments till comprehension finds me,
eyes fixed on the lightning streaked skies as it dawns on me how little our existence means,

Tonight the curtain closes on an ageing girl’s story for an infant man’s tale to begin,
an old woman dies so that a little boy might live,

just as the seasons change and the waters shift, and helios rises unbidden each morning to give the world a lift,
only God knows what good to the world his birth might bring,

so for each moment endless, and every decade swift,
the burden of knowing that this life of mine is little more than a gift,

each ribbon around as a mystery to be unravelled, and each fold of pretty paper an obstacle to be overcome,

they say enlightenment inflames belief, and belief confers strength,

thus in my moment of clarity I become bestowed with the courage to actualize my new found belief,

they say pleasure is accentuated by pain, plenty by previous lack, health by years of pestilence, and the yearning for peace by countless wars,

likewise only through the horrible eyes of hades can the beauty of living be seen,
only in the Grim Reaper’s icy embrace will I feel the warmth of my own skin.

Now I know what I must do to transcend this pitiful existence,

invigorated by knowledge, I take a plunge into the ocean of my mortal fear, a literal jump from a parapet at the hospital’s top,

I have found a fitting end to all my wasted years, tonight I will not be stopped,
if I live, it will be as a better man, appreciative of whatever is left of my life-span,

if i survive, it would be without the thorns of regret,

kept alive by the purpose for which I was born, by all the goals I have not met,

but if I die, sprawled on the pavement as my mangled body lies,

let my spirit rise forth proudly to the heavens, like olympus bound smoke from the pyres of ancient greece,

borne in the arms of maiden valkyrie, ascending with the ravens, clothed in raiment from spotless fleece,

for tonight I have conquered

tonight I have conquered

tonight I have conquered

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Just Like You

Recently, I featured on Damstylee’s blog series ‘The Letters’ with a Letter To My Mentor (kindly read if you haven’t.)
It piqued the curiosity and concern of many who kept on asking whether the letter was fictional or not. And even when I claimed it was fictional, some seemed doubtful.
I’ll just make this statement, that can be taken as a disclaimer, although that’s not the purpose of this post.
Literature is a re-enactment of life experiences; and personally, I believe the beauty of fiction is when it appears real. It’s one thing to write about an experience, it’s another to write out of an experience. I did the latter, and it doesn’t make my piece any less fictional.
For every story, there is an inspiration, so yes, an experience inspired that piece. An experience that definitely wouldn’t call for a funny, insensitive letter like the one my character wrote. An experience that only bears like 5% similarity to the story. (*yimu*, if you like, but it’s the truth)

Now, when that event occurred— in this case, the person wasn’t female, neither was he my mentor, and the discovery was far different— I did feel shocked and disappointed, like every other human being would. But those feelings ebbed quickly and were replaced by waves of sympathy and sorrow. Tears kept welling up in my eyes as I tried to imagine what he must be going through. And I felt bad. Someone who I claimed to know well was struggling with something and I didn’t even know.
People around you, people close to you, are struggling with one thing or the other, and you have no idea. You just assume everything is fine with them.

Speaking of that letter, human beings tend to expect so much from someone who never promised they had so much to give; people live their lives calmly and humbly, standing on the earth, and we lift them up unto pedestals, and look up to them, without their consent. We view their lives from afar off, and make assumptions about them, then we tag them our role model, mentor, teacher, counsellor and all those other lofty titles.
We go to them whenever we have issues and we talk and talk. We dump all our challenges on them because we hold the belief that they are incinerators with no dirt of theirs, their job is to burn your problems to ashes by profferring advice and solutions. You just assume they have no challenges of theirs, so you don’t care to ask or know. Your pastor may be struggling to pay a loan, but you don’t know because you assume he’s a man of God with more blessings and anointing and has everything going well for him. Your mentor may be battling with a certain negative addiction but you don’t know because you assume (s)he always has the answers to problems, and seems so upright.
You don’t know because you don’t ask. You don’t ask because you think it’s not your place to. You think it’s not your place to because you think they are different from you, better and more special than you. Which may be true, to some extent, but never forget that these people are in the flesh like you, they are frail humans too! So yes, they have issues too.
You assume so much, and create high expectations based on your assumptions, then when they disappoint you, you begin to judge and criticise them, forgetting that you didn’t care enough about them in the first place. I think it’s really unfair. Do you pray for your pastor? Do you ask questions concerning the welfare of your teacher? Have you ever visited your mentor’s home? What do you really know about these people?
I’m not even limiting it to them now; what about your parents/children, siblings, friends, colleagues, room mates, church members? What do you really know about them?
Do not be deceived by the smiles, the tough mien, the heads held high, the charisma/charm, the cool words and all. These people are struggling with something- it could be a besetting sin, family issues, heartbreak, disease, want, academic failure; seek to know and help.

Last year, a woman who taught me in secondary school passed away. A friend of mine who was closer to the late woman than I was, called me and said “Dunni, do you know Mrs So and So never had a child? I went to offer her husband my condolences, then I found out.” (paraphrased)
I’m sure I didn’t feel as bad as that girl did. This was a woman who knew all of her problems and helped her scale through, yet the girl didn’t even know what burdens she carried.
At this point, you may say “But people can be so secretive.”
Truth is, other people made them that way. (Well… apart from those who are secretive due to their temperament)
They are secretive because of fear of judgement, mockery, being misunderstood, rejection.
They are secretive because they are aware of how much you expect from them, and they are trying so hard to be strong for you, not to fail you.
This makes many to live in shells, and build mighty walls around themselves. How do you break through? Through Love!
The opposite of love is self. You don’t know what others go through because your selfish nature finds it more comfortable to assume than to ask. You are oblivious to what they face because you are so engrossed in your own challenges. This is why you talk and talk to them about your issues without endeavouring to listen to theirs. You say you are minding your own business, yet you want them to mind yours.
Make efforts to get closer to people. Show them love. Don’t just talk, listen! Ask questions, call them, visit them, text them, offer sincere compliments, do them little unasked favours. That way, you’ll effortlessly get them to open up to you, and then you can be of help. Love tears down every wall, love melts the coldest of hearts.
In love, even when people disappoint you, you won’t judge them. You will empathise with them, comfort them and support them however you can. (Personally, I don’t even beg people not to judge me. When you judge, you will be judged by the same measure. Whatever you sow, you will reap. These are spiritual laws, and trust me, they are functional.)
See, people don’t need your cheap pity, gossipping, sneers, critical comments and sighs. They don’t need your indifference. They need your words of encouragement, prayer, action plans, calls and messages. They need your love!
It’s a new year. Let us all cast off selfishness and presumptions/assumptions and seek to know/understand/help other people in love. Remember they are human beings, just like you.

P.S: As always, your comments are appreciated. Thanks for reading. Kindly share too. 🙂

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Hello 2014

Happy New Year everyone! All thanks to God for bringing us safely into 2014.

I smiled when I saw the theme of the year for my church— Foursquare Gospel Church.
“Our Year of Fulfilled Desires”
It sounded so complete, so satisfying, so reassuring! Like I’m just going to step into the year and plant my feet on blessings already laid on the ground for me.
The theme text is from Psalm 145:18-19
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.

Just like every promise, there is a condition for fulfillment.
“Call upon the LORD, cry to the LORD and fear Him.”
2014 has to be a year of constant prayer and communion with God, and walking in the fear of God.
Basically, the back-up verse for this theme is “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
As always, God’s abundant grace comes into the picture. We can’t seek, fear and obey Him without His divine enablement.

VERSE 2014
Few days ago, I got a mail from YouVersion, telling me to
“Find… #Verse2014. A promise to reflect on. A different way of thinking. A new discipline.”
As I was going through my timeline that night, I saw a tweet on peace and then John 14:27 dropped into my spirit
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
And I’m like “Yes, that’s the verse!”
I battle with fear and worry a lot! (Maybe because of my temperament) It was really crazy last year. I lost sleep,  shed tears, became depressed, and made bad decisions all because of fear and worry.
But as I focus on that verse every 365 days, I believe those weaknesses will be conquered by grace through faith in the unfailing words of my Lord Jesus Christ.
No matter the circumstances and news around me, I will always have divine peace within me, not the false sense of peace the world gives when things seem to go well for a while.

New year: Fresh goals and plans!
As I was reviewing year 2013, I regretted not following through with the goals I’d set at the beginning of the year. I think it’s because I did it reluctantly— my elder sister made me set those goals.
But now that I’m wiser, I’ve already (willingly) set my goals with time-frames. (Personal, academic, ministry)
That way, I can go through the year with a better sense of direction and purpose. I can also measure my achievements better. I only pray I implement the action plans without procrastinating.

New Years are not altogether new. New Years are not new beginnings, New Years don’t mean a new life. It is only a continuation of what has been; a fresh page in the book of your life, not a fresh book.
This means that your past will catch up with you. Previous decisions and choices will bear consequences this year. You will begin to reap the fruit of the seeds you’ve sown in past years, (while still sowing seeds for future years), be it good or bad. That exam you wrote last year, you will see the results this year. The changes you made to your appearance and behaviour last year during the holidays, people will witness them when school resumes, etc.
So brace yourself for whatever comes your way, remembering that you brought it upon yourself.

Life is all about answering questions.

● What is the overall purpose of my life?
● What gifts/talents do I have, and how can I use them for God’s glory and to bless others?
● What Christlike characteristics are missing from or underdeveloped in my life?
● What necessary skills do I lack and need to learn?
Life is all about learning, growing and changing!  And you’ll be doing a lot of that this year, as always.
I pray we all have a fulfilling year!

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Reflections ’13

During the 2012 crossover vigil, I remember my pastor saying “In the (mystic) world, 13 is associated with bad luck, and many such events will happen this year but this will not be so for us children of God.” (Paraphrased)
He was right; accidents on land and air, terrorist attacks, wars/conflicts, strikes, and all, occurred this year. But God’s grace abounded to my family and I: divine protection, provision, good health/divine healing, journey mercies, academic/career excellence, favour, fruitful friendships, to mention but a few.

“Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no-one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.”Psalm 40:5

2013 has to be my most interesting year so far. Many dramatic experiences that I never imagined would happen to me did happen; sometimes I’d feel thrilled, like I was a character in a book or movie, sometimes I’d feel dejected, like Fate was playing tricks on me. I went through many new experiences this year, the major one being that I got admitted into the university in March. The day before the session began, my elder sister got married. As I was packing my stuff in the evening, I was just crying, thinking of how much I’d miss her, and how suddenly my life was changing.
So many things changed this year! And I’m thankful to God for giving me the grace to adjust.
I’m thankful to God for keeping me through unfavourable, difficult times. On January 4th, I had a hurtful experience (that formed the basis for my story). I cried so much, thinking: “God, this wasn’t the deal we had, why did you let this happen to me so soon?”
But it was only a lesson preparing me for tougher exams, and God healed me quickly. I remember when I printed my admission letter from the JAMB website, I saw “Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education” instead of “Obafemi Awolowo University”. I was in so much despair, kept on wondering what went wrong since I had filled my form correctly. But I thank God that didn’t stop me from starting school this year. There was this time I passed out during a prayer meeting at school, I fell facedown and had lacerations all over my face. I’ve never felt so terrible and ugly in my entire life. People kept on offering me pity and it made me feel worse. But God healed me so soon and no ugly scars remained. Yes, this year was about emotional healing!
I don’t even need to talk about the boy drama and conflict with parents every teenager faces. You can imagine. I survived all that, Halleluyah.
I had good moments this year, thanks to all the beautiful people who showed me so much love. Apart from my family, every other significant person in my life came in this year. And I’m so grateful to God for them.
2013 was a year of going deeper with God. I got so much spiritual knowledge and insight and the Holy Spirit taught me a lot! I wasn’t as consistent as I wanted to be, there were many moments of rising and falling. There were times Jesus and I were intimate lovers, there were times we were just acquaintances. There were times my imperfection came between us, I’d fall into sin and break His heart (Wait…Jesus has a heart right? Not the one that pumps blood, of course) Still He loved me and showed me mercy and favour! It was and is so amazing!
2013 taught me to wait so much. Being an indifferent person by nature, sometimes I didn’t care. Sometimes, I did. It taught me patience.
I made foolish, reckless choices this year, to be honest. Made mistakes and caused myself pain. I am not proud of them but I’ve come to see them as necessary, though avoidable, experiences that taught me priceless lessons I may not have learnt otherwise. I don’t have time for regrets! God’s mercy has covered them. 🙂
I wrote a lot this year— this blog bears the testimony— and I’m thankful to God for constant inspiration!
I believe this year would have been more purposeful for me if I had been more serious with goal-setting and all, so that’s the first lesson I’m taking into 2014.
Finally, I discovered more about myself this year— Like realising my dominant temperament is Phlegmatic and not Melancholy (._.) — and I can say I’ve grown. I love myself and I am proud of who God made me to be.
Now I’m just reflecting and smiling with gratitude and joy in my heart, thinking “God, deal with me severely if I don’t become wiser in 2014.”

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures for ever.”- Psalm 136:1

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Hello, Good morning.
I finally conquered my fear and put this up. Read and kindly make use of the comment box.

I will teach you how to clothe your nakedness with another’s.
No. Please. Stop.
Years later, you will thank me for my benevolence.
No. Please. Stop.
Your dull cries hit the walls of his ears and bounce back,
each echo sounding like a wounded animal
begging to be slain.
Words too weak to have effect,
words that sound like opposites.
He goes ahead;
The teacher still speaks even when his student is half-asleep.
As he writes on the hairy untouched blackboard
with his coal chalk,
you wonder how you walked into this classroom in the first place.
Mother did warn you to plant your feet in one place
till the Teacher comes to whisk you away.

The lessons unheeded are rewritten with your blood.
The lessons unheard are recited in your moans.
The lessons unlearnt are imprinted in your scars.
Lessons to be taught to your children unborn.

In year 2013, Experience re-taught me lessons that Wisdom had taught me previously, lessons I didn’t heed.
By God’s grace, 2014 will be different.

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A Man Doesn’t Cry

Hello everyone!
Compliments of the season.
Apologies for my absenteeism, my brain went on holidays.
We have Blaqknyght here today (finally!) with this beautiful poem that he claims to not care so much about. Smh.
Read and kindly make use of the comment box.
A man doesn’t cry, my momma taught me.
Fore-skin was ripped with a blunt blade
Not a whimper, not a tear.
A man doesn’t cry, my momma taught me.
Till I saw your spectre on the horizon
I squinted, an out of place tear fell off
Your shapely silhouette, your flowing hair.
A man doesn’t cry, my momma taught me.
Till you walked up to me and whispered
“I’m yours”
Curse that damn breeze, a speck of dust
-fell into my eye, tears fell off.
A man doesn’t cry, my momma taught me.
Till you rode me like a mustang on the plains
while I got lost in the deep of your ocean
No tears, I cried out in riotous ecstasy
A man doesn’t cry, my momma taught me.
Till you ripped my heart
With blunt cold cruel words.
“I’m leaving”
Tears flow with mournful whimpers.
And like a truly disobedient child,
I cease to be a man.

Errr, if your heart was broken in 2013, step in 2014 with the knowledge that God loves you eternally and will never break your heart. That’s consolatory enough, no?

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